With one game left in the regular season, formalities are the only thing preventing Nick Bosa from officially being recognized as the 2022 NFL Defensive Player of the Year. Bosa has separated himself from the pack, and at this point, the award is his barring a generational performance from Micah Parsons this weekend.
The 49ers' star edge rusher finished the game with ten pressures, and despite not having a sack, made the game-defining play when he bull-rushed Raiders left tackle, Kolton Miller, into the lap of Jarrett Stidham, which led to the Tashaun Gipson interception and return that set the 49ers up for their walk-off field goal.
That performance in the desert now puts Bosa at 88 pressures on the season, which leads all players in the NFL with a game left on the schedule to add a few more to that total. Bosa also leads the league in sacks and quarterback hits, with a wide margin between himself and the next closest player on the latter.
Bosa currently sits at 30, and Raiders edge rusher Maxx Crosby currently has the second most with 22 on the season. So at this point, the only true competition Bosa has for this prestigious award is Parsons, and Bosa has double the amount of quarterback hits than the 15 Parsons has heading into week 18.
Another area where Bosa has really stood out compared to his peers is the efficiency that he has had while tackling. Bosa has just a 6 percent missed tackle rate this season, and for comparison's sake, Parsons is at 15 percent, and Crosby is at 13 percent.
Not only has Bosa terrorized opposing quarterbacks with his exceptional pass-rushing prowess, but he has also been one of the preeminent run-defending edge rushers in all of football and has played a major role in the 49ers spending essentially the entire season as the league's best-rushing defense.
Bosa is the best player on the best defense in football, and while other players have been fantastic, there is simply no argument to be made that should sway the powers at be to award this prestigious honor to anyone but the 49ers' superstar defender.
For a cleaner look at where he ranks in some key categories, here is where Bosa’s numbers currently have him placed among his peers this season:
Sacks - 17.5 (1st)
QB hits - 30 (1st)
Pressures - 88 (1st)
Now for where Bosa ranks among qualified edge rushers against the run:
Missed tackle percentage - 6.1% (2nd)
Stops - 38 (4th)
PFF run defense grade - 81.6 (2nd)